Sainsbury’s launches Signsbury’s to encourage sign language

// Sainsbury’s has introduced Signsbury’s in a bid to encourage staff & customers to use sign language
// The Big 4 grocer launched the initiative at its Bath store
// Signsbury’s will be open from July 18 to 21

Sainsbury’s has changed its store sign to Signsbury’s in a move to be more inclusive and encourage staff and customers to communicate with sign language.

The Signsbury’s initiative is taking place in Bath from July 18 to 21 as part of its 150 Days of Community initiative.

Over 100 Sainsbury’s employees took part in British Sign Language (BSL) lessons, delivered by local signing school I Can Sign.

This means employees can now sign several common words and phrases when interacting with customers – from greeting them at the door, asking if they have a Nectar Card to discussing the weather.

Elsewhere in the store, screens are used to demonstrate how to sign different words and phrases, including “milk”, “trolley” and “bananas”, in order to encourage customers to get involved, as well as learn a few phrases in BSL.

The initiative was suggested by Sam Book, a Sainsbury’s employees living with hearing loss, who asked Bath store manager Paul Robertson to make the store more deaf-friendly to help affected shoppers.

“We want to be the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop and it’s really important to us that we support both customers and colleagues with hearing difficulties,” Sainsbury’s company secretary Tim Fallowfield said.

Robertson said: “When I heard about our 150 Days of Community scheme, I thought it was the perfect time to use the opportunity to explore new ways to make our store more deaf-friendly.”

This is not the first initiative from Sainsbury’s to demonstrate inclusivity.

In February, it trialled a new sunflower lanyard scheme to support customers with hidden disabilities.

This meant shoppers had the option to pick up a lanyard, which had been purposely designed to act as a discreet sign for store colleagues to recognise if they may need to provide a customer with additional support when in store.

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